1,000 signatures reached
To: Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Abolish the Work Programme (WP)
Please review the Official DWP Work Programme statistics and do the right thing by:
a) presenting the Statistics with more transparency in a format which is not misleading to the reader
b) abolishing the Work Programme as it is dire waste of tax-payers money.
Why is this important?
This is important because the General Public of the UK are not being given a fair and accurate picture of the clear failure of the WP to provide what the public are paying for through their taxes.
People are not fully aware of the "sanctioning regime", seemingly endorsed by the DWP Provider Guidance Notes and the detrimental impact it is having on the health and well being of many of the most vulnerable people in society. These tactics are actually creating barriers to work, rather than removing them.
People should be aware that the DWP Provider Guidance is constantly being updated to strip the unemployed of their rights under the Data Protection Act 1998. It is also being used as a license to cut welfare expenditure by providing more avenues and extra guidance on how to issue more sanctions against WP participants.
There is more information contained within the DWP Provider Guidance relevant to sanctioning people correctly, than there is information relative to helping people back into suitable full time employment. Where are our priorities?
For too long now, our government has discredited the unemployed in the UK, creating a negative stereotype for everyone on benefits, including those who are doing their utmost to find work with very little support from this Work Programme.
Two contentions are being widely overlooked here:
a) Jobseeker's allowance is a taxable income
b) No person would be able to claim anything from the welfare/benefit safety net, if they could not prove on a regular basis that they are doing everything they can to find suitable full time employment
From reading the DWP Statistics, this is what they should say:
1.41 million people have partaken in the work programme
16.6% managed to find work regardless of whether this work was found through the WP or not
22,000 people – that’s 1.5% - managed to stay in employment long enough for the WP provider to claim the maximum amount of job sustainment payments.
219,000 people, roughly 15% have returned to the Jobcentre still looking for work after being on the Work Programme for over 104 weeks.
It is clear from interpretation of the evidence that the success rate has been approximately 1.5%. The ‘corollary’ is that the failure rate has been 98.5%.
The DWP Provider Guidance:
8. Providers are required to present all of their customers with a leaflet explaining the Departmental position in respect of consent to contact an individual’s employer. (A fair processing notice)
9. DWP now has a designation order in place that allows the Department and Providers to contact the customer’s employer directly to validate employment details for the above benefit groups.
10. There is no longer a requirement for you to obtain customer consent to allow DWP to contact a customer’s employer or for you to contact an employer in connection with Outcome or Sustainment payments.
11. You may also share this information with the Department for Work and Pensions.
[Source: Chapter 9, Work Programme Provider Guidance]
This begs the question – of the 1.5% of participants that did find suitable full time employment, how many of these people found the jobs themselves, only for the WP to take the credit and get paid, even in cases where the WP provided no assistance whatsoever?
This failure has come at great cost to the tax-payer, and it seems people are generally misinformed and are allowing 'celebrities' to dominate the discourse on welfare reforms, rather than listening to those of us who are already on the receiving end.
No moral conscience can simply walk on by and allow the suffering of their comrades.
"When a complaint is freely heard, deeply considered and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty attained, that wise men look for" (Milton, 1644)
Please note that, not being experienced myself in the realms of ESA benefits, I don't feel that I qualify enough to really discuss that in much detail.
But what I can say is that there was a risk highlighted by the National Audit Office upon the introduction of the Work Programme that people who the WPP's deem "easier to help back into employment" will always receive the help first.
This is because the WPP's are paid on a target basis and by helping those who they deem easiest to help first, they can achieve their targets more easily and hence get paid more readily. THIS RISK IS NOT BEING MANAGED PROPERLY. The reasons the WP have provided for not managing this risk at all is that they "treat everybody equally", however in reality, this is clearly not the case and my argument is supported by the official statistics.
It follows then, that if you are a person who needs extra help to find employment, unfortunately the WPP will get round to helping you last. This is disgraceful, it is unfair and it is unethical.
How it will be delivered
This campaign is designed to help everybody with a view to change the benefits system in a way which is more cost effective to tax-payers and also to serve as a mechanism to provide a fair and equal playing field for everyone who is out of work, regardless of their situations.
I plan to utilise social networking to spread the campaign. I have written to several MP's regarding my complaint and have asked for my complaint to be passed directly to Iain Duncan Smith. I await their replies.